A MOTION calling for a treatment, which saved a man’s life, to be made available across Scotland has been backed in the Scottish Parliament.

Robert Baldock suffered a stroke, which dramatically changed his life, in March 2017.

At the time, he received a thrombectomy, which he told the Courier “saved my life”.

However, he was just one of 13 people across the country that year to receive the treatment, which is a highly specialised procedure involving physically removing the clot that caused the stroke and opening up the blocked artery.

It is most effective if done in the first few hours after a stroke and the procedure can help prevent significant disability from a severe stroke.

Mr Baldock, 54, has campaigned for thrombectomies to be offered throughout the country, with Iain Gray, East Lothian MSP, backing his call.

Mr Gray said: “I have backed Robert and other Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland campaigners on their call to bring back thrombectomy to NHS Scotland since the campaign was launched last year.

“Unfortunately, despite repeated promises by Scottish Ministers, there has been very little progress on this issue and between 600 and 800 Scots a year are still missing out on the opportunity to access this life-saving treatment.”

Mr Gray’s motion received the backing of a number of fellow MSPs.

Mr Baldock said a thrombectomy was his “only option”.

The former digital solutions designer had been visiting friends in Edinburgh but later that evening began experiencing a headache.

The pain got worse until about 9pm when he felt he had “no control over my body”.

He said: “I couldn’t move my arm or cry out. I went to hospital, had tests which came back negative and it was presumed I had suffered a TIA (Transient Ischaemic Stroke), often referred to as mini stroke as the effects only last up to 24 hours.

“I was sent home and told to call the hospital on Monday to arrange a scan. I didn’t get the chance.

“At 10.30am on Sunday morning I suffered and survived a serious ischaemic stroke.

“All I can remember of that morning is the ambulance crew trying to manoeuvre me down the narrow stairs of the cottage with great difficulty.

“I couldn’t move or speak. A scan revealed a large clot had caused my stroke.

“Normally you would have a clot busting drug to dissolve the clot and restore blood flow to the brain.

“However I was told this treatment wasn’t going to be effective for me. My family and friends who were with me were told to prepare for the worst. Things didn’t look good at all!

“My only option was a thrombectomy. Thankfully, I was able to have the thrombectomy that saved my life. For me there was no other alternative.”

Mr Baldock recently moved from Dirleton into accessible housing in North Berwick.

He said: “I continue to make great post-stroke progress, even two-and-a-half years after the event.”

Jane-Claire Judson, chief executive at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, said something needed to be done to ensure the treatment was freely available.

She said: “Every extra month without a thrombectomy service means around 20 people in Scotland will be left with significant disabilities after their stroke.”

“It means more families will be heartbroken and robbed of precious time with those they love.

“Stroke patients in Scotland deserve the very best care. People’s lives are being destroyed by stroke; it’s not good enough and there is no time to wait.”

Anyone looking to back the campaign can sign a petition at www.chss.org.uk/thrombectomy